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Friends of the Library
What are "Friends of the Library"?
Friends of the library are groups and individuals that help to preserve, support and strengthen libraries throughout the U.S. Friends of the library members consist of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses. Members consist of individuals who use libraries, people who organize library fundraisers to foster development, and influential community members that help govern libraries across the nation.
In recent years, many library administrators have turned to nontraditional sources of funding to help raise dollars to ensure that library facilities will be able to provide the necessary services and the degree of excellence expected from the community. Many people look to libraries to provide a networked place to research and work. And, along with that, they are looking for a library that offers up-to-date services, resources and technology. Libraries need constant funding in order to stay on top of technological advances in computer technology, maintain current facilities, as well as research tools. Libraries also need funds to hire knowledgeable librarians who can assist with research and utilize research tools to help patrons find the vast types of information they are seeking.
Community Awareness and Support
The purpose of a friends of library fundraiser is not only raise money for the library, but also to create awareness and appreciation for the library with the local community. So whatever you decide, make sure you promote your fundraiser. Spread the word to local media, utilize social networking channels, post announcements on your website, create flyers to post on community bulletin boards, send email announcements to your loyal database and ask them to help spread the work. Look for businesses to sponsor your fundraiser with financial donations as well as assistance promoting your library fundraiser. All of these efforts will help increase the success of your fundraising campaign and help you spread the word for your cause. After all, a library is not just a place to check out books, it's a place to gain knowledge, a place for information exploration, and a social gathering where people can enjoy spending time together.
For more guidelines and information about planning your fundraising initiative, read through our fundraising tips.
Library Fundraising Ideas
There are many great library fundraising ideas for friends of library groups to consider for their fundraising campaign. From applying for grants to hosting book sales to organizing a community fundraising event to planning a unique fundraising initiative such as a "read-a-thon"... there are many different fundraisers to consider.
Don't be afraid to be creative and think outside the box. How about offering a "Friends' Night" Fundraising campaign? Your friends of the library group could partner with a different local business each month to offer a "Friends' Night". For example, a local restaurant would host "Friends' Night" on a Tuesday night from 5 - 9 pm. Restaurant patrons would be informed that a percentage of their food bill would be donated to the local friends of the library group to support a specific fundraising cause. At the end of the meal, patrons would also be asked if they'd like to contribute an additional donation.
To help you determine which type of fundraiser is right for your library, we've conducted a great deal of research and invite you to explore library fundraising ideas.